This is the funniest thing I have seen yet about the whole ruckus over MoveOn.org and their smear tactics with the ad about General David Petraeus. It appears that those champions of truth, justice, the American way and free speech are trying their damnedest to suppress the free speech of fellow Democrats that want to distance themselves from the narcissistic and juvenile behavior of the "buyers and owners" of the Democratic party. With lawyers, too.
MoveOn.org's excessively discounted broadside against General David Petraeus in the New York Times two weeks ago won't rank as its most successful tactic. The full-page nastygram appears not only to have solidified Republican opposition in the Senate for proposals to curtail the Iraq war effort, but also to have shaken the group's rich Hollywood funding base.
So it's not too surprising that the liberal advocacy group would be a mite touchy from all the blowback online, even though it should be used to the abuse by now. So touchy, in fact, that it's been sending out cease-and-desist letters to CafePress, a website that lets people offer custom-designed t-shirts, coffee mugs and the like for sale. Last week it demanded that the site remove eight items, arguing that they violated MoveOn's merchandising trademarks……
……Beyond that, it's amazing that MoveOn would try to squelch political speech. That's another clear purpose of the targeted items. Take, for example, this message on a t-shirt designed by a lifelong Democrat from Southern California:
General Petraeus has done more for this country than MoveOn.org. MoveOn.org, the worst friend a Democrat could have! Move Away from Move On!
CafePress told MoveOn to pound sand. Good for them. As the LA Times points out, parody and critiques are protected so long as the intent is not to mislead. Which is why this is not actionable. Because it certainly is not meant to mislead. In ANY way. At all.
UPDATE: And while MoveOn was busy trumpeting how much money their smear ad made for them, the real payoff was the alienation of moderate voters. Rasmussen reports:
Twenty-three percent (23%) of Americans approve of an ad run in the New York Times “that referred to General Petraeus as General Betray Us.” A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 58% disapproved. Those figures include 12% who Strongly Approve and 42% who Strongly Disapprove.
Self-identified liberals were evenly divided—45% approve and 39% disapprove. However, only 19% of moderate voters approve while 62% disapprove.
Forty-seven percent (47%) of all adults say that “stunts like the MoveOn.org ad” hurt the cause they believe in. Only 12% believe they help the cause while 17% say there is no impact. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure. Again, political liberals are divided with 27% saying they help and 32% taking the opposite view. Fifty percent (50%) of moderates and 57% of conservatives say that these sorts of events hurt the cause the group is trying to promote.
Pyrrhus said it best: "If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.".
UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for linking this. Please do look around a little if you've followed the link over. Thanks.